Jun 23, 2012

How God Sees Me ...

All beautiful you are my darling; there is no flaw in you.

~ Song of Solomon 4:7
Wow, wow, wow.

Jun 9, 2012

Say what?! Jesus was feeble?!

I was drawn to a familiar verse this morning and did some digging that took me beyond the dullness which familiarity can bring into a freshness and light, like coming out of a coal mine into a fragrant forest with a store of diamonds. Let me take you on my adventure.

This comforting verse is Hebrews 4:14-16:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace boldly, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

The first diamond is the word “sympathize.” The King James translates this “touched with the feeling of, “ the Amplified, “shared feeling.”

Did you catch that?? God has feelings. The same feelings that we do!!

The Catholic Public Domain Version, uses the word “compassion.” Last, my favorite, “commiserate mutually” (Strong’s number 4834-5).

So, Jesus mutually commiserates with us.
He feels the same way we feel,
soul to soul, brother to brother, friend to friend.
Jesus is not just my Lord, he is my brother and closest friend.
Wow, wow, wow!

Second is the word “weaknesses.” Strong’s number 772 translates this as “feebleness of mind, body, or morality (soul). The lack of ability to do things great and glorious, to restrain corrupt desires, or to bear trials and troubles.”

Do you grasp the significance of this word, feeble?
In my wildest imaginings I never thought of Christ this way.
Not only does He feel the same way I do, 
but He has felt “corrupt desires.” 

At times, Jesus was weak, 
feeble in mind and body -- and even in soul. 

There were moments when Christ felt like he wasn't going to be able to do anything great and glorious
Jesus doubted Himself.

This makes me think of Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, weeping tears of blood. I’ve always known he felt anguish. But I never thought Jesus felt weak or doubted his ability to do the right thing! 

But He came to earth in weakness as a helpless infant.
And, even though He rose in power and glory
Jesus is still the Lamb of God. 

Few things are weaker than the newborn babies
whether of men or sheep.

This blows my mind! Jesus (that is God Incarnate) has felt this weak -- even feeble. He gets us. He was human. But he was the only human to feel this way, to BE this way and not screw up. That is the only reason He could take our sin upon his own shoulders. And that is the reason we can come “boldly” before God, the third diamond.

By now, I hope you are starting to see that God is safe. Not only does He not condemn us, but he feels like we feel. So when I am tempted. When I want to do the wrong thing. Or when I HAVE done the wrong thing, there is no barrier between me and God. ... None.

"Boldly,”(Strong’s 3954) means, “bluntly, frankly, openly — speaking freely, clearly, and fearlessly.” 

If you are feeling like a failure,
or if you have failed, 
go to God and spill your guts. 

Don’t mince words. Tell it like it is. Talk to God like you are talking to the only Person you have ever been able to trust. Do you hate someone? Or maybe you just hate God. Are you angry or consumed with the desire to do something unspeakable? Maybe you have done something unthinkable. Go! Go bluntly, frankly, openly — speaking freely, clearly, and fearlessly to God.

And you know what you will find? You will find the fourth diamond, “mercy.” Strong’s 1656 tells us that mercy means “tender kindness joined with the desire to help.” So much for the idea of a hard-hearted high-and-mighty God holding a scepter on His judgment seat. That is not the God of the Bible. He did have to judge sin, but because He is the kindest, most loving, most compassionate Being in the universe, he judged Himself instead of judging us. No other god did that.

To us, He extends the last diamond, “grace,” my favorite. When we have done the unthinkable and we go to God, believing in the Gift given to us by the death and resurrection of His Son, we find:

Grace gives 
and loveliness.


If that is the way God treats me, how much more must I extend the same thing to my fellow man, no matter how offended I am by what he or she has done. As Jesus said at the end of His story about the Good Samaritan who loved and cared for his enemy who, under different circumstances, would have hated him, “You — Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:25-37).

The real Gospel is scandalous.
Dare to believe it
and then live it!

BTW if you like to dig around in Scripture like I do, check out the awesomest iPhone app ever: 
The Touch Bible Loadedavailable in iPhone, Android and Nook. 


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